13 Reasons to Do Bodyweight Exercises

Getting fit doesn't have to be rocket science, and simple bodyweight exercises can be a great choice for achieving gains in strength, building muscle, boosting cardiovascular fitness, and burning fat.

Not convinced? We've got 13 great reasons why bodyweight exercises should be a key component of everyone's workout regime (along with tips for boosting your own routine today!).

More: Infographic: A 30-Minute Bodyweight Routine


1. Super-efficient workouts. Unless the goal is to look like Arnold circa 1977, the days of 2-hour workouts are numbered. Research suggests high-output, bodyweight-based exercises such as plyometrics yield awesome fitness gains in very short workout durations. Since there's no equipment involved, bodyweight workouts make it easy to transition quickly from one exercise to the next. Shorter rest times mean it's easy to quickly boost the heart rate and burn some serious calories.

2. Combined cardio and strength training. Pressed for time but need to hit cardio and strength in one quick workout? Performing quick bodyweight cardio sessions (such as one minute of burpees or a set of jumping jacks) in between strength exercises will keep the heart pumping while still encouraging muscle and strength development.

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3. Fast fat-burning. Looking to shed a few unwanted pounds? Just a few minutes of a bodyweight circuit training can have a major impact on the body's metabolism. Don't believe it? Try adding a few quick sets of these amped-up burpees into any workout routine and see what happens!

4. Something for everyone. Bodyweight exercises are a great choice because they're easily modified to challenge any fitness level. Adding extra repetitions, performing the exercises faster or super-slow, and perfecting form are a few ways to make even the simplest exercise more challenging. And progress is easy to measure, since bodyweight exercises offer endless ways to do a little more in each workout.

More: Why Ditch the Gym

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